Everyone who opposes the plans of hawks like Ledeen for wider, endless war, and everyone who recognizes that there is in fact nothing we can do any longer to lessen the horrors of the immoral catastrophe that is Iraq, is an “antisemite.”
In that case, count me among the damned, you lying bastard. ~Arthur Silber
Actually, when you consider Ledeen’s entire statement, I think he intended realist to be the far more insulting label of the two. At first, it does seem inexplicable that in any sentence someone would string together the words “as the realists and antisemites desire.” Apparently antisemite is a new foreign policy paradigm, or realist is a new term for a kind of bigot–who knew?
But in a funny way (and the only thing you can do with something like this is laugh and then laugh some more), it does make sense–to Ledeen, if not to anyone else. To Ledeen and friends, opponents of the war in Iraq were already anti-Semites (and unpatriotic, don’t forget unpatriotic!), since this was a given from the moment the debate began. In every debate, they know their interlocutors must be anti-Semites, since no other kind of person would persist in opposing their glorious vision. Now the anti-Semites (i.e., anyone who disagrees with them) have been joined by those labeled by a name that conveys even more neocon contempt and disgust: realist.
I can see why the realists bother them so much. Reality annoys them plenty, but realism makes them spitting-blood angry. Realists are people who disagree with them and who are in a position to possibly undo the bad policies they have advocated. Anti-Semites are their opponents who lack any meaningful power. I’m sure that if you had Ledeen draw a chart, he would show that all the realists had been (and still are) anti-Semites and that any anti-Semite, if he works hard enough and makes the right connections, can become a realist. Is it clear now?
Realists are much more frightening to them. A realist might say, “Hey, Ledeen, what on earth does Ethiopia have to do with the war in Iraq?” They could pose all kinds of inconvenient questions to which he has no answers except to mumble something like, “The mullahs are coming for your children!”
But, he might object, don’t I see that Ethiopia isn’t connected to Iraq? It’s one of Iran’s future provinces, as everyone knows.
I forgot, it’s a “regional war.” A region that includes Kenya. Because that’s part of the “mullahs’ game plan.” Just for laughs, can anyone even hazard a guess why Kenya would be in the mullahs’ game plan? There are some Muslims there (probably only 10% of the population and not Shi’ites, so far as I know, but who cares?), I grant you, and Masai and nice wildlife parks. Perhaps the mullahs are getting into the poaching business. But why stop at Kenya when Congo isn’t much farther away? Then they could meet up in Kinshasha with the Venezuelans (who will have long since captured all of the rest of Africa) and continue their drive for world mastery!
Listening to the ravings of mullahs or Ahmadinejad, which Ledeen cites as his sources for this “information,” about their future plans for conquest sounds about as reliable a way of gathering intelligence as Howard Dean’s “scream” speech proved to be a good indicator of his campaign’s later electoral successes. Just replace Ohio with Ethiopia and Michigan with Kenya, and you’ve got the exact same thing going on: weak politicians trying to rev up their supporters with delusional promises of glory that will never come to pass. On this sort of “evidence” that giant among men, Michael Ledeen, bases his policy advice.
Update: Michael has more.